Carl, I use OFF as well, and have always advised friends and clients to do the
Denise Lawungkurr Goodfellow
PO Box 71
Darwin River, NT, Australia 0841
PhD candidate, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW.
Founding Member: Ecotourism Australia
Nominated by Earthfoot for Condé Nast’s International Ecotourism Award, 2004.
043 8650 835
On 18 Feb 2015, at 10:30 am, Carl Clifford <> wrote:
> I have been using OFF!, a picaridin based repellent for a few years now, and
> find it excellent. Not only works well on insects, but is good for leeches as
> well. I have even used to repel bed bugs in SE Asia. I would not go back to
> using a DEET based repellent.
> Carl Clifford
>> On 18 Feb 2015, at 8:10 am, David Adams <> wrote:
>> Thanks for the notice and thanks to Paul for the link. What a disturbing
>> but well done piece!
>> I've got a few suggestions on insect repellants that I thought I'd pass
>> along to anyone that hasn't been as paranoid about bugs as me. As it turns
>> out, there's a lot of research on what works and what doesn't for ticks and
>> mossies. The US Army and ADF have done projects together since both deploy
>> troops into areas with horrific insect-born disease. Off the top of my head:
>> * Yes, the US Army and ADF managed to invent a 100% effective insect
>> repellant system, when applied. When applied. So horrible that people
>> weren't compliant. It doesn't work if you don't use it...which is why I
>> like Picaradin rather than DEET.
>> * DEET is effective against mossies, not so much for ticks. It's also
>> greasy, nasty, and tends to melt plastics. Not ideal for birders.
>> * Picaradin (available here in Aus - look for no mention of DEET on the
>> front and 'goes on like water' as a claim. The ingredients list will list
>> Picaradin.) I love this stuff for mossies! I think I've converted most of
>> the local bird club to my way of thinking on this. Picaradin doesn't smell
>> bad, isn't greasy and doesn't seem to melt plastic instantly like DEET. It
>> works great for mossies. Ticks? I'm not sure.
>> * Mossies can bite you without you knowing it and ticks can certainly bite
>> you long before you notice. If you're anything like me, I think of putting
>> on insect repellant *after* I'm needing it. That's okay when they're an
>> irritant, not good when they may be carrying something horrible like
>> Malaria or Dengue. This leads to Permethrin. This chemical is based on a
>> natural compound but is entirely synthetic, as I understand it. If you
>> apply it to your skin, it breaks down and does you no good. Instead, you
>> use it to treat your clothes. An application lasts for many weeks and is
>> highly effective against mosquitoes and *even more effective against
>> ticks." Mossies it repels, ticks it kills. The stuff is amazing, you can be
>> standing in a damp, dark mossie-infested pit/birder's paradise and nothing
>> lands on you. Magic.
>> * Permethrin-like chemicals (pyrethroids) in other formulations are built
>> into clothes and netting as long-lasting insect repellants (That's what's
>> going on with those five-year mossie nets they distribute and sell in
>> various locations in Africa.) I've used long-sleeved shirts and pants like
>> this. Fancy travel brands like ExOfficio (etc.) sell this sort of stuff. I
>> get the SPF 30+, quick drying ones. Be forewarned: Just add binoculars and
>> camera to make sure that you blend in with the locals anywhere.
>> (Cough-cough.) Also, it seems like this stuff makes your sweat smell
>> horrible in about 15 seconds. I have not found this to be so much the case
>> when you treat normal clothes with Permethrin. So, the pre-built ones are
>> more convenient and the repellant properties last long...but treating your
>> own gives you more flexibility and you still get weeks of coverage.
>> * Lots of people like botanical repellants of one sort or another. If they
>> work for you, fantastic. Studies have shown them to be (depending on
>> compound) ineffective to minimally effective. I like Picaradin (or DEET if
>> I must) because I don't have to remember to reapply the material very
>> often. With botanicals that do work a bit, you have to reapply very, very
>> frequently to keep the bugs away. I'm. Too. Lazy. To be honest, I only get
>> worked up about all of this when I'm going somewhere with something
>> horrific like Malaria...then I'm all about getting zero mossie
>> bites...that's the only way to be sure. (Oh, and for anyone doing Malarial
>> prophylactics, I encourage you to consider Malarone. Much easier to
>> tolerate than Doxycycline and you don't have to keep taking it for so long.)
>> Again, all of that is off the top of my head and I'm sure I've blurred or
>> messed up some details....but there are a few general impressions and
>> anecdotal reports from someone that's tried a lot of bug repellants. If
>> anyone has found other effective tools, please share with the list!
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